It’s a shame how history is rewritten or altogether forgotten.
Particularly, when it pertains to a life-or-death accomplishment.
Such is the case with the U.S. Merchant Marines, a non-military participant in the likes of World War II.
Without the merchant mariners, the war’s outcome might have been different and more lives might have been lost.
A bill bill to honor these heroes has been sent to President Donald Trump’s desk.
The bill — called the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act — is one of the highest civilian honors bestowed.
Alaska’s congressional delegation not only supported the bill but led the effort for its passage.
The merchant mariners were civilian volunteers WWII. They transported soldiers. They also moved tanks, airplanes, ammunition, fuel and food rations to the front lines.
About 8,300 merchant mariners died or went missing during the war. At least 12,000 were wounded, according to a press release from the delegation, and more than 600 became prisons of war.
The mariners received veteran status in 1988 — about 40 years after the war. Now 75 years after the war ended, the mariners will be honored.
Longtime overdue. But, it’s not too late.